Thursday, April 5, 2012

CBC Studio 40: George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

I just finished watching last night's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. It was the second time I'd seen the show, though; the first time was live yesterday afternoon.

When I heard George was coming to film in Vancouver again -- he's usually in Toronto -- I immediately checked my calendar to see if I could take the day off work. Because my time was clear, I put in for the tickets right away, and got my confirmation within a couple of hours. And was thrilled! Because if I'm honest, I love TV more than anyone should, and George Tonight is probably my favourite* show on my favourite station, CBC. Steve also enjoys the show, so he was nice enough to accompany my nerdy ass on the trip.

In the middle of the taping, George mentioned we were running a couple of minutes long, so it was interesting to see what got cut when it aired. Also, during the first interview, we could hear George fine in the studio, but Jim Treliving was barely audible. That translated to Jim sounding fine on TV while Strombo seemed to be in a cave. That was fixed, though, and we had no sound issues for the rest of the program, in person or on the broadcast.

As excellent as George was, however, I went ABSOLUTELY geek-a-tronic about being at the CBC. I watch anywhere from 10-20 hours of CBC every week, just CBC, among all other television. I was gutted at the announcement of cuts to Canada's national broadcaster in the new budget, and went into shock when I read that they applied to put ads on Radio 2. I love the CBC in an irrational way, and that includes Radio-Canada's programming en francais... if only I could get it here.

Anyway. Having seen him live, I came away with 3 thoughts on our boyfriend George:
  1. I really want to feed him cupcakes. They can be vegan cupcakes, fine, but he's way too thin right now. I forgot that everyone is actually skinnier than they appear on television, so it was a bit of a shock. 
  2. He's even more alluring in person. He somehow manages to be better looking when not seen through a camera, and has exponentially more charisma. I didn't think it was possible!
  3. I vote that he's taken over as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. In addition to producing a fantastic hour of television, he worked the crowd during the breaks, and spent who knows how long talking to all the fans afterward. And the George Tonight show is only one of his many jobs!
Speaking of which, I went into the room to do the Meet & Greet with George, but after a couple minutes watching him say hello and pose for pictures, I realised I had no desire to do that. It's just not me.

Yes, I'm a big fan, and I'm really glad I went to the show. But to me, celebrities are still people, as full of shit as everyone. I don't like George because he's famous, I like him because I enjoy his work. By showing up, I supported that work and showed my appreciation for it. Standing in the line-up to take a photo next to him is just awkward. It's not something I'd ever do. At the same time, were I sitting next to the man at a bar, I'd chat with him like I do anyone, probably mentioning that I like what he does in the process, but that makes sense to me. Standing in a queue for a random handshake and a hello means nothing to me; I don't get it.

Weirdly, I didn't consciously realise that I thought this way until I was standing there looking at the Meet & Greet, but it's the same approach I have to Twitter. I talk to strangers (some celebrities) who I follow because I have something to say in the conversation, not because I want attention from the super famous. Although I do sometimes get starstruck if I like their work too much, and have a completely irrational fangirl reaction if they reply to me (eg the DM from Paul Feig).

I'm off track.
To sum up, the show was incredible, George is a phenomenon, and I love the CBC waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much.

And I still wanted to stay in Canada forever, but that's a whole other thing....

*The last 2 days got me super Canadian (think that HIMYM episode where Robin plays hockey in the living room), so I will use the proper Canuck spellings for the time being.

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